November 21, 2014
Please continue to check the E-rate Modernization Order web page for links to additional information.
TIP OF THE WEEK: If you have received an FCDL for FY2014 and your services have started, you should file an FCC Form 486 as soon as possible. The deadline for filing and certifying your form is 120 days after the date of the FCDL or 120 days after the service start date featured on the FCC Form 486, whichever is later.
Note that USAC will not issue an SL News Brief next Friday, November 28, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Also, the Client Service Bureau will be closed Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28.
Commitments for Funding Years 2014 and 2013
Funding Year 2014. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2014 Wave 29 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on November 26. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of November 21, FY2014 commitments total over $2.08 billion.
Funding Year 2013. USAC will release FY2013 Wave 75 FCDLs on December 1. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 requests at all discount levels. As of November 21, FY2013 commitments total over $2.13 billion.
On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC's Automated Search of Commitments tool.
APPLICATION PROCESS: Eligibility
As applicants and service providers begin preparations for the FY2015 filing window, we will be providing informational articles in upcoming SL News Briefs about each step in the application process. The titles of each of these articles will start with the words "APPLICATION PROCESS" and will provide timely information to help you prepare for a particular step. This first article deals with eligibility issues for applicants and service providers.
To participate in the Schools and Libraries Program, potential applicants, recipients of service, and service providers must first determine if they are eligible. Below are some points to consider about eligibility.
To be eligible for E-rate discounts, a school:
- must provide elementary and/or secondary education as determined under state law.
- must not operate as a for-profit business.
- must not have an endowment exceeding $50 million.
In general, public schools meet these requirements. Other types of schools – such as non-public schools, charter schools, and diocesan schools – should check with the state department of education in their state to see if the educational services they provide fall within that state's definition of elementary and/or secondary education.
In some states, Head Start, pre-kindergarten, adult education, and juvenile justice students and/or facilities may fall under the state definition of elementary or secondary education. For more information, review USAC's guidance on Non-traditional Education. USAC has also posted an Eligibility Table for Non-traditional Education that contains current information from each state on the eligibility of these students and facilities.
- NOTE: Every two years, USAC sends letters to state departments of education asking for official confirmation of the status of these types of entities and other matters related to eligibility. Within the next several weeks, the Eligibility Table will be updated to reflect any new information provided to USAC based on our most recent request for information. At that point, if you feel the information in this table is incorrect, your state department of education may be able to provide you with more information.
Also, Educational Service Agencies (ESAs) are eligible for discounts in some states. ESAs are regional agencies authorized by state statute that provide services or programs to local educational agencies such as individual schools and school districts. ESAs may go by different names in different states, and the programs and services provided by ESAs vary from state to state. You can refer to the Eligibility Table for Educational Service Agencies for information specific to your state.
To be eligible for E-rate discounts, a library:
- must be eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
- must not operate as a for-profit business.
- must have a budget completely separate from any schools.
In general, public libraries meet these requirements. Other types of libraries – such as academic libraries, research libraries, or private libraries – should check with the state library agency in their state to see if they are eligible for assistance under LSTA. Note that they are not required to have received such assistance; they must only be eligible to receive it. As with schools, eligibility requirements may vary from state to state.
To participate in the program, service providers must file an FCC Form 498, Service Provider Identification Number and General Contact Information Form, with USAC and receive a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN). For providers of services other than Telecommunications Services and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), there are no other eligibility requirements.
Providers of Telecommunications Services must provide those services on a common carriage basis. Such companies are therefore often referred to as "common carriers." Generally, providers of Telecommunications Services and providers of interconnected VoIP must complete FCC Form 499-A, Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet, and – in general – must contribute to the Universal Service Fund.
- You can check the status of a company providing these services using the SPIN Contact Search Tool on the USAC website. After you enter either (1) at least the first three letters of a service provider’s name and a percent sign (%) immediately following those letters or (2) a SPIN, click "Next" to view the results of your search. In general, in the column marked "Form 499 Filer," you will see a "Y" if USAC has determined that the service provider is eligible to provide Telecommunications Services and/or Interconnected VoIP services under that SPIN.
- Note that some service providers, although exempt from filing an FCC Form 499, can provide these services. You can refer to the text above your search results for more information about these providers. If you still have questions, contact the Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100.
For more information on eligibility, refer to APPLICANTS: Before You Begin and SERVICE PROVIDERS: Before You Begin on the USAC website.